Reversers, and more specifically web-seekers, are a strange bunch of 'matter of fact' fellows: their most peculiar endowment is the capacity of reversing realities around them... red
As a consequence -among many others- they don't buy any advertisement hype (in fact they don't buy advertisements in general), and they don't trust any commercial enterprise, knowing very well that people bent on making money out of the web have no intention whatsoever of spreading knowledge without having seen very concrete gains dangling on a very near horizon. Since google is the most used search engine, this talk will concentrate heavily on it, but I surely do not intend to blame only google for problems that in many cases all other search engines have as well.
Anyway google-specific words like google being 'your friend', the mother of all modern search engines, with its 'nice brand' face, with its 'commitment to the community of searchers' do not mean anything to us.
As far as it is useful in order to gather knowledge we use google, as soon as it gets useless, we ditch it. Face-value beats any PR-spins every day of the week.
Privacy concerns are only a small part of the "non friendliness" problem: we know the basic elements of stalking ourselves: all search engines provide a look into people's personal lives, and privacy awareness and consumer protection have (and will) not -by far not- kept pace with this: when private companies are allowed to collect reams of data, any attorney with half an excuse can easily get hold of them.
Just imagine the type of personal information that a subpoena to Google could unearth in a criminal prosecution: every search query you've ever made on a given computer with a given browser. That's btw a good reason by itself to use more than just one search engine, more than one browser and more than one provider (you are generally better served wardriving and avoiding your provider completely :-) red
Searching with google, using a GSM or buying stuff with your amexco card is the same: you just smear your own data around for everybody and his dog to see, collate and use.
But seekers are not unwashed zombies, and know how to maintain some (relative) anonymity...red. The real problem is the relevance, coherence and reliability of our searching results.
Unfortunately we are right now in a phase where even clueless bystanders can see how google is getting spammed a tag too much. Hence it's usefulness has the 'alpha and omega' of web searching has been severely reduced.
We began long ago to prepare alternative paths to web-knowledge. Let's present some of them -today- to this community of distinguished reversers.
Fravia studied applied software entomology at the Savonlinna University and graduated with the paper "How to reverse engineer, and eventually smash, software bugs", published in the prestigious "students' essays" of the University of Helsinki. He later studied history of the early middle ages and rhetoric, in Berlin, under the teachings of one of the greatest university mentors Europe has had in the last century: Dr Frithjof Sielaff. www.fravia.com